This was Harvey's "big" christmas present from this year. Not that he liked it the most - that prize went to a bouncy ball and two wood cars I got at the paper store. No, this 20-hour present is more of a gesture, a holding place, stock for later Montessori moments in his life when he may want to learn more about Jesus' birth.
Every doll in this set is hand-sewn, even the sheep, because they're too small to put through the sewing machine. That makes for about 2.5 hours per doll, not counting the clothes.
All the dolls in the set use the same pattern, except for Mary who has a special pocket in her nether regions from wence the baby can emerge. It's a play set with a life lesson thrown in to boot! Don't worry, I've spared you the detailed pictures here, though you're welcome to come over and play with them yourself.
For his part, when I showed Harvey the baby coming out he said, "No? No?" Too bad junior. That decision isn't up to you.
Dan made this awesome stable out of wood to hold the playset. The roof even comes off for easy access! It was very exciting to collaborate with Dan on a project, especially since I don't do wood working, and I was less excited to try my hand at a felt stable than I was about the arc. In the end the set could use a few more things... a manger out of popcicle sticks, three wise-men which I wisely declined to make at the last minute. That just means there are some no-brainer gifts for next year's stocking. You know, when he might actually be interested in playing with dolls.